Download 464 Free Art Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

in Art, Books | March 28th, 2015

Met 1

You could pay $118 on Amazon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s catalog The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. Or you could pay $0 to download it at MetPublications, the site offering “five decades of Met Museum publications on art history available to read, download, and/or search for free.”

If that strikes you as an obvious choice, prepare to spend some serious time browsing MetPublications’ collection of free art books and catalogs.




You may remember that we featured the site a few years ago, back when it offered 397 whole books free for the reading, including American Impressionism and Realism: The Painting of Modern Life, 1885–1915; Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomical Drawings from the Royal Library; and Wisdom Embodied: Chinese Buddhist and Daoist Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of ArtBut the Met has kept adding to their digital trove since then, and, as a result, you can now find there no fewer than 464 art catalogs and other books besides. Those sit alongside the 400,000 free art images the museum put online last year.

met museum free art books

So have a look at MetPublications’ current collection and you’ll find you now have unlimited access to such lush as well as artistically, culturally, and historically varied volumes as African IvoriesChess: East and West, Past and PresentModern Design in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1890–1990; Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings; French Art Deco; or even a guide to the museum itself (vintage 1972).

chess east and est

Since I haven’t yet turned to art collection — I suppose you need money for that — these books don’t necessarily make me covet the vast sweep of artworks they depict and contextualize. But they do make me wish for something even less probable: a time machine so I could go back and see all these exhibits firsthand.

Related Content:

Download Over 250 Free Art Books From the Getty Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Puts 400,000 High-Res Images Online & Makes Them Free to Use

The Guggenheim Puts 109 Free Modern Art Books Online

Where to Find Free Art Images & Books from Great Museums, and Free Books from University Presses

800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture as well as the video series The City in Cinema and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

by | Make a Comment (76)




Comments (76)

  1. Daniel Toschläger says . . .
    March 25, 2015 / 10:37 am

    Thanks a lot, this list is great!

  2. Gabriela Carral says . . .
    March 25, 2015 / 12:35 pm

    From Mexico City, thank you very very much!!!

  3. Lucy Willems says . . .
    March 25, 2015 / 2:36 pm

    This is priceless – thank you!

  4. ALLEN LIPSEY says . . .
    March 25, 2015 / 5:09 pm

    MAY ALL THE G_DS ABOVE LOOK WITH FAVOR UPON THE MUSEUM.

  5. Linda Pharis says . . .
    March 25, 2015 / 6:55 pm

    This is an amazing resource, what we dreamed of when the internet first came into our lives. Thank you so much.

  6. BISWAJIT DAS says . . .
    March 25, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    I NEED IT 422 ART BOOK VERY URGENT

  7. B Thomas says . . .
    March 25, 2015 / 8:46 pm

    Thank you. May the museum continue to grow and be a blessing to all the knowledge seekers around the world.

  8. Chrissi says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 6:04 am

    Thanks a lot also from Frankfurt/Germany!

  9. Cristina Jaime says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 7:11 am

    Gracias por compartir esta página.

  10. Cristina Jaime says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 7:12 am

    Thanks to share this, thanks

  11. snina says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 8:30 am

    how can i download it? can you please tell me!!

  12. Ken says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 9:40 am

    Thanks for sharing this :D

  13. Collins says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 1:46 pm

    AWESOME

  14. Katalin Eisenberg says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 3:45 pm

    Can you tell me how is the painter of this?
    https://twitter.com/zugloilany/status/581152084466229248/photo/1

  15. Nicolas Vaughan says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 3:50 pm

    Thanks! This has made the downloads server at the Met to collapse, though.

  16. Saúl says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 7:51 pm

    Thanks!

  17. Tanya lowe says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 9:23 pm

    Great idea, please send.

  18. Gulden says . . .
    March 26, 2015 / 11:49 pm

    Hi, this is a great web page, thank you very much.
    Regards.

  19. Marta Riquelme Capdevielle says . . .
    March 27, 2015 / 2:10 am

    I am mexican . I Thank you very much, God bless the fine people of the Metropolitan .

  20. Michael Bendel says . . .
    March 27, 2015 / 2:40 am

    What a fantastic opportunity and web site…thank you!!

  21. Lyn Osborne says . . .
    March 27, 2015 / 7:57 am

    Fabulous effort. Thanks so very much for this, what a lot of work has gone into this, so grateful. I live in Perth Australia and we do have a wonderful art gallery, but this is the icing on the cake.

  22. Pete Greenjeans says . . .
    March 27, 2015 / 10:34 am

    Wow..I’m an Fine Arts grad & think this is a marvelous web page. Thank you & please send. Best Regards!

  23. Sad says . . .
    March 27, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    I get this message when i try to download: Http/1.1 Internal Server Error 43531

    :'(

  24. Gia says . . .
    March 27, 2015 / 12:32 pm

    Yeah! thank you

  25. Deborah says . . .
    March 27, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Thank you so much!!

  26. Vicki McKague says . . .
    March 29, 2015 / 10:12 am

    Thank you! As a visual arts teacher, I am always looking for online information and images. You have made my job so much easier to share the world’s artistic treasures with my students!

  27. engel Tanzil says . . .
    March 29, 2015 / 5:28 pm

    Thank you so much ….

  28. Md Anwar Hossain says . . .
    March 29, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    thanks colin for your nice post.

  29. ANTHONY BOUWMAN says . . .
    March 30, 2015 / 4:00 am

    Oh I wish I had had this treasure trove when I was younger! I am now almost 85 and my eyes start to water after an hour. I have a Master’s in English and American Lit. and reading and art is my dessert of life.

    Thank you for making this lovely collection available for everyone in this crazy world!

    Tony

  30. Angela says . . .
    March 30, 2015 / 10:03 am

    Thank you for this lovely collection. You are an angel.

  31. Mehrsima says . . .
    March 30, 2015 / 2:56 pm

    Thank you so much for the offer but how I can downdoad it?

  32. Gerald Pace says . . .
    March 30, 2015 / 5:45 pm

    thanks so much

  33. Eston Henry says . . .
    March 31, 2015 / 2:40 pm

    Thanks!!

  34. Adrian Meli says . . .
    April 6, 2015 / 6:10 am

    Interesting, thanks for posting!

  35. Kofi Dawson says . . .
    April 22, 2015 / 2:15 pm

    I do like the challenge to read art books now.

  36. Zeba Mumtaz says . . .
    June 16, 2015 / 9:16 pm

    Thanks . Keep me updated on your other items as well .
    Regards
    Zeba Mumtaz

  37. susan says . . .
    June 17, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    Wonderful…thank you !…what an art feast !

  38. Gilyn Lazo says . . .
    October 21, 2015 / 4:59 am

    Would appreciate the art books very much. Thanks!

  39. nandkishor.p.s says . . .
    October 31, 2015 / 8:32 pm

    Send me fine art book

  40. Martyna says . . .
    November 1, 2015 / 3:59 pm

    Thank you for this priceless chest of treasure! Now I can call myself well prepared for cold winter evenings and nights.
    This is wonderful.

  41. Wendy Kaelin says . . .
    November 11, 2015 / 9:26 am

    Thank you so much for this generous offer; of great value to those of us who love are.

  42. Val Pozzoli says . . .
    November 12, 2015 / 8:12 am

    Thanks, Tony, for your lovely phrase “… art is my dessert of life.” Yes, it is, and all gratitude to the Met for this website.

  43. Sushmita Mae Leones says . . .
    December 7, 2015 / 6:58 am

    Thank you so much for this. :)

  44. Pauline Davidson (from France) says . . .
    January 2, 2016 / 4:35 am

    What a brilliant thing thank you, I will be using it

  45. Pauline Davidson (from France) says . . .
    January 2, 2016 / 4:37 am

    What a brilliant idea…thank you, I will be using it.

  46. Pauline Davidson (from France) says . . .
    January 2, 2016 / 4:38 am

    What a brilliant idea…thank you so much.

  47. patricia Castaneira says . . .
    January 7, 2016 / 5:30 am

    What a luxury!! This is a real heavenly “present”!!! Thank you so much!!!!

  48. Jurij Poov says . . .
    January 31, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    What a brilliant idea…thank you so much. SPASIBO!!!

  49. Emily Hoffman says . . .
    February 3, 2016 / 8:33 am

    This is wonderful.

  50. Mike Worrall says . . .
    February 9, 2016 / 4:03 pm

    I’m looking forward to this unexpected treasure trove,unbelievable!!

  51. Sonia Boening says . . .
    February 18, 2016 / 1:24 pm

    A great service to the spread of knowledge worldwide. Thank you.

  52. Ava Lunsford says . . .
    February 23, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    I am teaching a Humanities course on Food in Literature, Life, and Art, and this collection is priceless! Thank you so much!

  53. Gökhan Durak says . . .
    March 28, 2016 / 12:08 am

  54. Steve Martinez says . . .
    March 31, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    Thank you for this gift. Words cannot express what a wonderful addition to my life this will be. Thank you!

  55. christine says . . .
    April 21, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    thank you so much it will be a pleasure to look at them help and inspire in doing my own work

  56. Barbara says . . .
    April 24, 2016 / 8:24 am

    Thank you very much. This is incredible.

  57. jerry spencer says . . .
    April 24, 2016 / 9:48 pm

    thanks so very much. this is what the internet was hoping to be many years ago. i don’t now how you can do this but i thank you for finding a way!
    jerry

  58. Leila Latimer says . . .
    April 25, 2016 / 1:57 am

    Thank you, this is a treasure.

  59. Filiz Kansu says . . .
    April 25, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    I am an Antique – Archaeology expert, Painter and Writer.

    And I am very grateful to you for sharing such a valuable treasure with us.

    With my deepest respect from Istanbul.
    Thank you!

    Filiz KANSU

  60. Emad says . . .
    April 26, 2016 / 10:01 pm
  61. bird1388 says . . .
    May 5, 2016 / 11:36 am

    From iran , Thank You , we love art .

  62. Shirin says . . .
    May 5, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing these heritages.

  63. azadeh says . . .
    May 10, 2016 / 9:41 pm

    thanks for your gift

  64. Cristina says . . .
    May 11, 2016 / 2:45 am

    Thank you so much for your effort, hard work and the gift you give the world!!! Once again thank you from Romania!!!

  65. mohammad says . . .
    May 11, 2016 / 4:30 am

    tanx a lot

  66. Robert Moskowitz says . . .
    June 15, 2016 / 7:11 am

    A wonderful gift.

  67. shahram says . . .
    June 26, 2016 / 1:30 am

    Thank you so much for your effort

  68. kussay says . . .
    September 1, 2016 / 10:31 pm

    I like you send me nice art book on my email. thanks

  69. BASAVARAJACHAR K.R. says . . .
    October 10, 2016 / 5:55 am

    Nice information thank you

  70. October 10, 2016 / 5:58 am

    Art information very nice

  71. Lucia Cortes says . . .
    October 11, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    Thanks!!!!!!!!!!! Great this gift for many people, Thanks!!!!!! MET

  72. John Delmos says . . .
    October 12, 2016 / 3:37 am

    Thanks for sharing this, i am in california but hard to get out right now. this is what is good about internet is that art can be shared.

  73. Zohreh says . . .
    October 22, 2016 / 4:16 am

    I want books about puppet theater

  74. Hassan rahimi says . . .
    December 27, 2016 / 6:34 pm

    This all is the best

  75. lucinda says . . .
    January 30, 2017 / 12:49 am

    wonderful public service Met Museum have provided-much appreciated

  76. Lucrecia Saravia Zapiola says . . .
    March 28, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    Very grateful for the magnificent present.
    It is quite incredible…

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